Soil-less Gardens
by Reggie Kittilsen

I have a Financial Garden. In the beginning of 1998, I decided that I wanted to do a rollover with my Tax Sheltered Annuities (TSA) from insurance company — held accounts to a mutual account that would yield a higher percentage of income. I was limited in choice by a list from my employer. I proceeded to study various companies, then I asked the coning members which company on the list would be best for my purposes. I wanted one in particular but they suggested another company. Trusting Nature's wisdom I went with their advice. By this time it was April 1998, and Nature told me to wait until July to start processing the rollover. I had no clue why. It all became very clear when the process was near completion and the stock market took a dive. It was mid-August when the shares plummeted from approximately $125 (in April) to $91 per share. I actually rolled over two of my TSA accounts when the market was the lowest and one account a couple of weeks later when the shares had started creeping back up! I then owned shares in two portfolios because I had told Nature that I wanted to diversify. In checking occasionally for any suggestions from the coning members, I was advised to consolidate in December. This move was validated by the end of the year stock market report card in the newspaper, rating the portfolio I closed with a "C" and the one I consolidated my funds into with a grade of "A." So far I have been very satisfied with the above 20 percent gains as opposed to the 6 percent gains my money had earned in the past.

One other financial story: Nature also helped us solve a property tax problem that came about because of an error made by our county's Tax Collector's Office. The county penalized us for their error. Nature helped us discover that it was actually the county's Recorder's Office that had made the error. Then those two departments kept passing the buck to each other when we asked to be refunded. Each of the three times we went in, Nature told me to keep the coning open. Ultimately, when we asked to speak to the head of the Recorder's Office, the decision was made within minutes that we would not have to pay the penalties. I asked, "What is the next step?" They said, "Wait for your refund check." Thanks, Nature!